Consumer complaints about telecommunications services – particularly home internet quality – are on the rise again, according to the mid-year report of the industry’s national arbiter.
The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) report shows a 6% increase in the number of complaints for the period Aug 1, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021, compared to the same period a year earlier. CCTS was created in 2007 by the CRTC to resolve complaints from Canadian consumers.
The relocation from work places of consumers to their homes during the pandemic has resulted in a 50% increase in issues related to the quality of that internet service, CCTS Commissioner Howard Maker noted in an accompanying release.
Overall, wireless services were the largest component of complaints, followed by internet services, television and telephone complaints.
The report indicated that 88% of complaints were resolved “successfully”, down slightly from previous periods. The report defines success as satisfying both the customer and the participating service provider.
The report also listed the top vendors mentioned in the complaints. Bell topped the list, accounting for 20.3% of the complaints accepted, followed by Rogers (13.2%), Fido (10.3%), TELUS (7.1%) and Freedom Mobile (6.5%). Bell figures were much lower than in the previous year, while complaints statistics about Rogers and Fido were both much higher.
CCTS reported violations of the Wireless Code declined from 46 to 28 in the period. The most common violation was the failure to issue a copy of the contract, or contracts failing to include all the information required by the Code.